Monday, December 12, 2011

The True Meaning of Christmas

Christmas is rich with all the gold, silver, reds, blues and green colors that surround our room. We are talking about, exploring and using all of our senses to experience the sights, sounds, textures and smells of Christmas. 

For this post, I am going to let you know what we are doing in my classroom to help my children understand the true meaning of Christmas and to get the feel of how it felt on the first Christmas morning.

We read the Christmas story from the Bible and other children's books to help them understand that first Christmas morning.
Mary was going to have baby Jesus very soon, so she must have been tired and uncomfortable riding on the back of a donkey or walking. I invited a mom, who is pregnant and due very soon, to come talk about how she feels and if she would like to travel a long way on the back of a donkey. The children had many questions for her.  

We talked about how there was no hotel for them to stay at so they had to stay in a stable where the animals lived. I brought in hay and animal feed so they could experience the smell of the stable.

We talked about the shepherds and how they travel a long way outside of Bethlehem to see baby Jesus and the glorious angels. We dressed as Joseph, Mary, shepherds and angels for dramatic play.

We also put out lots of items that help us celebrate the Christmas holiday. We put colored bows in the sensory table for matching. We added wrapping paper, scissors and tape to wrap packages. We made candy canes with red and white pony beads and white pipe cleaners. This was great for sorting, making a pattern and developing small motor skills. I put angel shapes in the free art area and let them decorate them however they wanted. This was one of the most popular art activities. We had a host of angels throughout our room. Our angels were beautifully adorned with gold and silver paint, opal, red and silver glitter.

The children enjoyed all this, unstructured time for exploring the many things of Christmas. We don’t talk a lot about Santa Clause unless the children bring it up. We try to focus more on the caring and sharing of this blessed holiday.

Enjoy your Christmas time in the classroom.

God bless.